Mad Bishop & Bear
1st Floor
Paddington Station
W2 1HB


I’d missed a train by a few minutes and now had almost an hour to wait for the next one… may as well go for a pint. Sadly, the beer choice was a little poor: no Bengal Lancer, no Chiswick and no interesting looking guests. I settled for a pint of Wild River. It’s a decent enough pale ale but it’s at least 215 miles away from the being in the same realm as Gamma Ray. The comfy seats were all taken so I plonked my ass down on one of the high stools near the door. Nothing exciting happened. I didn’t even see any skanky pigeons pecking at crumbs on the floor. I had no desire to drink another Wild River or any of the other beers on sale so I rode the escalator back to the platform level.

* * *


Ride the escalators up from Yo Sushi and the statue of Paddington Bear and you will arrive at the Fullers operated Mad Bishop & Bear. It’s a big place. It looks and (to a certain extent) feels like a pub from days gone by. Beer is cheaper up here than it is down on at station level and the staff are usually polite and full of smiles. As far a train station bars go it is pretty decent. Despite it’s size, if you arrive anywhere near the peak times for getting your ass out of London it can be difficult to get a table as most of them are occupied by lone travellers. They sit in their own little bubble, tapping away at phone screens, slowing sipping a pint or a white wine spritzer. I’m sure most of them are texting their partner and once again bemoaning that the meeting has overrun or the trains are delayed.

I ordered a pint of Fuller’s Frontier Lager. It was alright. Certainly a lot better than GK’s attempt at a craft lager. I watched some skanky pigeons pecking at crumbs on the floor. I was tempted to make their day by chucking them a whole cheese n onion crisp but decided I needed it more. I sent a text to my partner. And left.


Great British Beer Festival
Hammersmith Road
W14 8UX


Everybody knows what the Great British Beer Festival is. Everybody has an opinion on the Great British Beer Festival – some of those opinions are favourable and some of those opinions are not so favourable. My viewpoint is simple: Feel free to dis it but you’d be daft to miss it.

There’s no real point giving you a blow by blow account of my GBBF 2014 experience but suffice to say – as I arrived before one and remained until the bars closed at seven – I had a lovely day.

For the sake of historical accuracy here are the beers I consumed:

Collaboration – Hogs Back & Elusive
North Wall – Hop Kettle
Roaring Meg – Springhead
Sublime Chaos – Anarchy [best UK beer I had]
Bananatana – De 3 Horne
Hemel & Aarde (Octomore BA) – De Molen [best beer I had]
TIPA – Emelisse
Vintage Ale 2014 – Fullers
Prince of Denmark – Harveys
Lekker Bakkie Kobi – Uiltje
Den Dorstige Tijger – Ramses
Brettanosaurus Rex – Oersoep
McEwan’s IPA – Wells
Kastel Triple – Van Honsebrouck
Kastel Rougue – Van Honsebrouck
Morpheus Undressed Foederbier – Alvinne
Rauchbier Kräusen – Schlenkerla
Sublime Chaos – Anarchy [so good I had it twice]
Shire Stout – Ramses
Hemel & Aarde (Octomore BA) – De Molen [so good I had it twice]